High Court quashes ‘antisemitism’ fitness-to-practise decision

The High Court has quashed a call by a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) fitness-to-practise (FtP) committee that had dominated that feedback made by a pharmacist couldn’t be thought of antisemitic.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) had appealed towards the FtP committee’s decision to issue pharmacist Nazim Hussain Ali with a warning, following feedback he made at an Al Quds Day rally held in central London on 18 June 2017.  The committee had thought of whether or not the remarks may very well be interpreted as antisemitic and offensive. It dominated that the feedback had been offensive and amounted to “critical misconduct”, and located Ali “to be impaired on the general public curiosity floor”. However, the committee mentioned that “most affordable individuals”, when making an allowance for the context wherein the feedback had been made, wouldn’t conclude that the feedback made by Ali had been antisemitic.

The attraction was held on the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court on 9 June 2021 and, in a judgement published on 23 June 2021, Mr Justice Johnson mentioned that he would “remit the case to the [fitness-to-practise committee] for reconsideration”.

Mr Justice Johnson mentioned that the committee “wrongly took account of Mr Ali’s intention when assessing whether or not his language was objectively antisemitic”.

“It wrongly took account of his character when assessing whether or not his language was objectively antisemitic. And it erroneously did not assess whether or not the remarks, thought of cumulatively, had been objectively antisemitic, versus whether or not every comment in isolation was antisemitic”.

The judgement mentioned that Ali “recognises that his language was, at the least, offensive, and he has expressed regret”, and that ”there is no such thing as a suggestion that he has repeated all these remark since”.

In giving the end result of the attraction, Mr Justice Johnson mentioned that the FtP Committee’s choice that cost 2(a) — the allegation that Ali had “mentioned issues that had been antisemitic” — was not confirmed was “quashed, as are its consequential findings referring to misconduct, impairment and sanction. Charge 2(a) is remitted to the FPC to find out afresh”.

Responding to the judgement, Duncan Rudkin, chief govt of the GPhC, mentioned: “We agree that the fitness-to-practise committee erred in its method to deciding whether or not or not the feedback made by Mr Ali had been antisemitic and we didn’t contest the attraction by the PSA.

“We will make sure that the learnings from this case and the High Court judgment are shared throughout the organisation and our committees.

“The additional FtP listening to for Mr Ali might be scheduled on the earliest alternative.”

Nazim Ali has been contacted for remark.

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